A Duplex Ultrasound Vein Exam is a test to determine the way blood is moving through your veins and arteries. This is a combination of a traditional ultrasound and a Doppler ultrasound. The traditional ultrasound creates pictures by bouncing sound waves off your blood vessels. A Doppler ultrasound uses moving objects including blood to record sound waves. This measures how they flow and the speed. There are several types of duplex ultrasounds, but the one we employ at Pacific Vein Care specifically targets the veins in the legs.
You lie on a table while the ultrasound technician spreads a gel over the targeted area. This enables the sound waves to penetrate your tissues. A transducer wand is then moved across the targeted area and sends out sound waves. A computer is used to measure the movement of the sound waves, then changes them into pictures. You will hear a swishing noise as your blood moves through your veins and arteries. Unless otherwise instructed, moving may cause inaccuracies in the test.
Under most circumstances you will not need to prepare for the duplex ultrasound vein exam. You may be asked if you take specific medications including blood thinners prior to your test because they can impact your results. There is no pain during this test, but there may be minimal discomfort due to the pressure used as the wand moves over the targeted area. The main reason this test is performed is to see the way your blood is flowing to the different parts of your body. This test will also reveal any blockages because it has the ability to determine the width of your blood vessels. This test is much less invasive than either a venography or an arteriography.
The Duplex Ultrasound Vein Exam and diagnose many conditions including:
• Blood clots
• Abdominal aneurysm
• Renal vascular disease
• Arterial occlusion
• Venous insufficiency
• Carotid occlusive disease
• Varicose veins
When your blood is flowing properly through your arteries and veins, there are no signs of a blockage or narrowing of your blood vessels and your blood pressure is normal, the results of your duplex ultrasound will be normal. In most cases an abnormal result is caused by a blood vessel with plaque buildup or a blood clot. This test has no risks.
If you are interested in learning more about a duplex ultrasound vein exam or believe you need to have this test, consider visiting Pacific Vein Care in McHenry, IL. Contact us today to schedule your consultation!